Toddlers often seem as if they alternate between periods of boundless energy and sound slumber. If your toddler’s periods of sleep are more frequent than his awake times, you may be concerned about the quantity of sleep he is getting. While it is natural for you to worry as a concerned mom, you probably have no reason for concern.
Expected Toddler Sleep Quantity
While toddlers don’t sleep as much as they did when they were infants, they do still sleep much more than the average adult or even school-age child. As KidsHealth reports, the average toddler requires between 10 and 13 hours of sleep daily. This sleep can be obtained in the form of a long night’s rest, or throughout the day in naps, followed by the average eight-hour night of sleep. Sleeping more than this, however, is not entirely uncommon. As WebMD reports, even requiring between 12 and 14 hours of sleep is perfectly normal for a toddler.
Consider Growth and Development
If your child’s sleep requirement seems to be above these norms, the most important factors to consider are his growth and development. If your toddler is still hitting the developmental milestones in a timely fashion, you likely have no cause for concern. If not, you should mention the missed milestones, and the excessive sleepiness, to your child’s doctor.
Potential Family Influence
Another factor to consider when determining whether your child’s sleep pattern is a problem is whether sleep issues are present in members of your family tree. If you are unaware of any issues involving sleep in your family history, ask family members. If you uncover a sleep issue, mention it to your child’s doctor. Many sleep issues are hereditary.
Illness or Injury
As NetWellness reports, while usually no cause for concern, excessive sleepiness in a toddler is more of an issue if your child has recently experienced an illness or injury. If, for example, your child has experienced a head trauma and has since been sleepier, you may have cause for concern. If your child’s sleepiness levels seemed to increase post-illness or injury, you should mention this change to your doctor immediately, as it could be the result of the sickness or accident and, as a result, require medical attention.
Query Your Doctor
While excessive sleepiness in toddlers is rarely a problem, mentioning this issue to your child’s doctor certainly won’t hurt. As with anything that seems out of the ordinary, discussing the issue with your child’s pediatrician is the best way to stop yourself from worrying and make 100 percent sure that everything is OK.